1983 Opel Manta Berlinetta 1.8S
Just three owners and 51,200 miles from new; highly original example of this classic sporting coupe; one of only around 30 still on the road; a proper '80s time capsule!
First registered in April 1983, this Opel Manta Berlinetta 1.8S has covered only 51,200 miles from new in the hands of three owners, the first of whom kept it for 27 years. Our vendor acquired it in 2013 to join his collection at which point it had covered some 48,000 miles.
During his ownership the car has been kept garaged and maintained impeccably with invoices for many new parts including the alternator; brake master cylinder; fuel pump; rear exhaust section; rear mud flaps; plugs, leads, rotor arm, coil and distributor cap; rear tyres; manual choke conversion plus much else besides. The cambelt and water pump have also been renewed and the bodywork has had localised repairs as required.
The history file includes an impressive collection of period road tests, original sales brochures and Opel publicity material. There is also an original owner’s handbook and a Haynes workshop manual. There are also 10 old MOTs back to 2009 at 46,154 miles, while the current MOT runs until September 2021 with no advisories recorded.
As you can see in the photos, the car remains in very good and impressively original condition throughout. One of only around 30 Berlinettas still on UK roads today, this is a sure-fire collector’s car of the future and looks mighty tempting at the guide price suggested.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Designed by GM’s Chuck Jordan, Opel launched its first Manta in 1970, a sporting coupe version of the accomplished Ascona saloon.
Like Ford, GM had been looking into the market for cars aimed more at ‘the individual’. Ford had come up with the Capri (with shades of the Mustang), while Opel’s car carried echoes of GM’s muscle car equivalent, the Camaro.
The long-nosed Manta A was offered with three four-cylinder engine options, from a 68bhp 1.2 to a 90bhp 1.9-litre. Setting the trend for following Mantas, there were several levels of sportiness and trim specification; the SR/Rallye with more comprehensive instrumentation and sports wheels, and the more luxurious Berlinetta with fancier trim, head rests and a vinyl roof.
In 1975, the second series (Manta B) was launched, based again on the newly redesigned Opel Ascona. The Manta B took many of its styling cues from the Chevrolet Monza of the same year, doing away with the split radiator grill in favour of a ‘droop-snoot’ nose similar to the Vauxhall Cavalier. The new model also lost the thick rear roof pillar and had a generally more airy cabin.
For 1982 it was face-lifted yet again to become the Manta B2, with sleeker wraparound bumpers, front and rear spoilers, and all brightwork replaced with fashionable matt black. A new 90bhp 1.8-litre engine from GM’s ‘Low End Torque’ range was also available. Known to be one of the best handling cars in its class, the Manta went on to win many rallies across Europe and the USA.
Despite being superior to the Capri in every department and better engineered to boot, it never really caught on with its target market in Britain, who perversely preferred the workaday Dagenham bling of the Capri to the sophistication of the foreign-sounding Opel. With great balance, rear wheel-drive, a five-speed box and a gutsy engine it was, and remains, a great driver’s car and the few survivors are increasingly sought after today.
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